Caltagirone

A city in colour

In Caltagirone, traditional pottery production is linked to a thousand-year-old history dating back to ancient times.
According to the Italian archaeologist Paolo Orsi the production of maiolica preceded the arrival of the Arabs, but we know for sure that their arrival in the 9th century increased production, thanks to the introduction of a new technique – glazing – which made the pottery waterproof and more resistant.
A few centuries later, during the Spanish rule of Alfonso of Aragon, pottery trade had greatly developed and allowed artisans to sell their ceramics all over the island.
Unfortunately, the earthquake of 1693 interrupted the potters’ activity and destroyed many of the floors made with the maiolica of Caltagirone.
Today some of the fragments are preserved in the Museum of Ceramics.
foto facciata museo  dei vasi fuori il museo
After the earthquake, decorative motifs were replaced in order to make trade flourish again. In the 19th century, however, with the introduction of cement, the production of maiolica stopped.
The potters’ centuries-old activity ended when the last master potters disappeared in the 1930s.
In 1918 Don Luigi Sturzo founded the Istituto d’Arte della Ceramica (Institute of Ceramic Art) and saved a tradition that seemed destined to be lost. In 1965 the Museum of Ceramics was inaugurated, a safe place that preserved and protected a priceless cultural heritage.
foto ceramiche in ordine di descrizione per periodo

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Giuliano ai Crociferi

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista

A new site for a new church

The senses tell the Benedictine Monastery and San NicoIò l’Arena

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

The chocolate of Modica

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The city of museums

The senses tell the Mother Church of San Nicolò and of the Santissimo Salvatore

One city, two sites

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

Searching for colour

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

A feast only for Scicli

A museum to save a tradition

The interior and its masterpieces

A majestic and luminous church

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

Connections with other UNESCO sites

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giovanni Battista

Norman apses

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

An eagle-shaped city

The Staircase of Angels

The Maiolica of the staircase

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

From the contrast of the exterior to the internal jubilation of colours

A miniature city

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

A long reconstruction

From International Gothic to present day

A triumph of colour

A new site for a new city

A talking palace

A colourful floor

The wall comes to life

New roads for Catania

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

Church of San Giuliano (St. Julian) on Via dei Crociferi: reconstruction

The two churches

The colours of the cathedral

The Baroque town by the sea

Feasting in Palazzolo

A hall for the feasts

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

Feast days

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

The role of the religious orders in rebuilding the Val di Noto

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

St. Sebastian, so much work!

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

A symbol for the town

The theatre of taste

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The façade used as a puppet theatre

One city, three sites

Freedom of worship and the role of the Catholic Church in the diffusion of Baroque

A half-Baroque church

Some prestigious works

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

Two illustrious patron saints

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

Prominent façade

The senses tell the story of the Badia di Sant’Agata

Between white and black

Discovering the mother church

The church of Carmine

A prominent church

Wonderful quick decorations

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

A square as the heart of the city

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The disastrous earthquake

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

A city in colour

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

Many owners, one palace

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

The senses tell the story of the church of Santa Maria del Carmelo

The Burgos crucifix

Some masterpieces

The senses tell the story of the staircase of Santa Maria del Monte

The internal colours

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

A small room with a golden entrance

A Nobel Prize in Modica